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UP Town Gets Broadband Service

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MADISON, Wis. — Madison, Wis.-based TDS Telecommunications Corp. saiid Thursday that its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus-funded broadband Internet project in Chatham, Mich. is now accessible to nearly everyone living in the area.

“I’m proud to announce that 96 percent of people living in the stimulus funded area around Chatham have access and can now sign up for high-speed Internet service,” said Dave Wittwer, president and CEO of TDS. “This is an exciting day for our customers and our company. Chatham was the first stimulus grant we received. It’s also where we broke ground first. Now, it’s the first place where more people can sign up for a high-speed Internet connection.”

Chatham is a village of 220 in the central Upper Peninsula, southwest of Munising and southeast of Marquette.

The stimulus-funded area that is not yet complete (near Au Train) should be finished and accessible to customers by summer.   Just more than 125 miles of fiber optics cabling was installed and 29 cabinets, which protect the advanced network electronics, were placed throughout all five of TDS’ Chatham Telephone Co. exchange areas to provide high-speed Internet access to more residents.

In December 2009, the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, announced TDS would receive a grant to expand broadband Internet services in the Chatham area. In total, TDS received 44 ARRA grants to expand broadband Internet service to people and businesses in 20 states across the country.

Nationwide, more than 93 percent of TDS customers already have access to high-speed Internet service. TDS is intent on providing as many remaining customers with broadband connectivity as possible. According to TDS, federal stimulus funds are helping to close the gap and deliver Internet connectivity to many more customers.

For more information, visit www.tdstelecom.com/stimulus.

TDS is the seventh largest telecom provider in the U.S. For more than 40 years, the company has been connecting people with high-speed Internet, phone, and TV entertainment services in hundreds of rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across 31 states. Today, TDS has more than 1.1 million equivalent access lines in service and 2,700 employees. Business customers select from the latest technologies, including: VoIP (managedIP) phone service, dedicated Internet, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit www.tdstelecom.com or www.tdsbusiness.com for more information.

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